Seahawks Earn 52-36 Shootout Win At Bryant Behind Fulse, Linta
Smithfield, RI – Senior preseason All-American running back Ryan Fulse ran for 218 yards on 36 carries and three touchdowns, and added a fourth receiving, while fifth-year senior quarterback T.J. Lintapassed for 167 yards and three scores in leading the Wagner football team to a 52-36 victory at Bryant on Saturday. In snapping a three-game losing streak to Bryant, the Seahawks improve to 3-7 on the season, 2-3 in the Northeast Conference (NEC) while the Bulldogs fall to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in league play. For Fulse, today's effort was the third 200-yard rushing game of his career, with two of those efforts coming against Bryant. In last season's meeting on Staten Island, Fulse rumbled for a then career-high 228 yards on 25 carries, a mark he bettered in the 2018 season-opening win over Bowie State when he totaled 271 yards on the ground. Wagner jumped out to an early 17-0 lead on a pair of short Fulse TD runs, each of which capped long drives, that were sandwiched around a 28-yard field goal by sophomore Eric Silvester.
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Bryant got on the board with a seven-yard touchdown run by Brenden Femiano midway through the second quarter to make it a 17-7 game. After the Seahawk defense came up with a big 4th-and-1 stop, Linta went up top on first down, delivering a 38-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver D'Erren Wilson that put the Seahawks on top 24-7 but this was just the first of three TDs the teams would combine for in the final 3:40 of the opening half. Bryant's Jean Constant returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a score that drew the Bulldogs within 10 points at 24-14. The Seahawks then took over on their own 25 following a touchback with 3:19 left in the half and promptly marched down the field, with Linta executing a crisp, nine-play, 75-yard drive, capped by his eight-yard TD flip to senior tight end Chris Woodard, with 19 ticks left, to give Wagner a 31-14 halftime lead. The second half opened with Bryant drawing within 10 again, this time at 31-21, on a six-yard TD pass from QB Tom Kennedy to Broeghean McGovern which was answered by a one-yard quarterback plunge by Linta that extended the Seahawk lead to 38-21. Bryant then took advantage of a Wagner fumble on the ensuing kickoff which set up a third-yard run by McGovern which again made it a 10-point game at 38-28. This would be as close as the Bulldogs would get, however, as the Seahawks put the game away with a 53-yard, mid-third quarter TD jaunt by Fulse, his third rushing score of the game, followed by a 28-yard Fulse touchdown reception from Linta in the fourth quarter, which made it 52-28 and Wagner never looked back. For the day, Linta finished an efficient 13-of-21 through the air for 167 yards and those three touchdowns. His favorite target was fifth-year senior wide receiver Denzel Knight who had a team-high four catches for 33 yards while Wilson added three grabs for a team-high 56 yards. All told, Linta, a graduate student who started the last two seasons at Brown, spread the ball around to eight different receivers. Defensively, the Seahawks were led by redshirt junior linebacker Santoni Graham who finished with a team-high 10 tackles, while fifth-year senior linebacker Justin Osuji and senior cornerback Sterling Lowry added six and five tackles, respectively. Junior cornerback Myron Morris also had a big day, coming up with two big interceptions, including one on the goal line that squelched a fourth-quarter scoring chance for the Bulldogs. With Bryant facing a 4th-and-goal at the Seahawk one early in the fourth, Morris came up with the pick and returned it 70 yards, setting up Linta's 23-yard TD toss to Fulse. Wagner held an overwhelming advantage in the statistical department, outgaining the Bulldogs 431-256 yards while holding a 241-88 advantage on the ground. The Seahawks will conclude the 2018 season on Saturday, November 17 when they travel to Robert Morris to meet the Colonials in a noon kickoff.